It’s safe to say that lots of people have been to Fiji, but never really seen Fiji. It’s easy to spend two weeks by the pool, sipping cocktails and working hard on relaxing. But if you scratch the surface you’ll quickly learn that there’s more to Fiji than meets the eye. From learning about the culture to spending a day on the dunes, there’s plenty of fun to be had in paradise – if you know where to look!
We spoke to Phillipa Steele, International Model and Fiji Airways Ambassador, to get the lowdown on the top 10 things to do and see in Fiji – beyond lying in a hammock.
Famous for its surf breaks, the waves in Fiji attract some of the best surfers in the world. If you’re an expert surfer then make a beeline for Cloudbreak, just off the coast of Tavarua Island. For those wanting a more family friendly wave, Cloudbreak’s neighbour, Namotu Left, is the perfect pick. Namotu is suitable for kiteboarding, stand up paddle boarding or windsurfing too!
Treat yourself to a real jungle experience as you fly through the canopies of Fiji’s hidden rainforests. Zip lining is one of my favourite ways to see Fiji. More than just a ‘tour,’ zip lining guides will share their firsthand knowledge of the rainforest and local ecosystem.
Sunset Dinner Cruise
Fijian sunsets are truly magical and they get even better if you’re sharing a meal with someone special! Captain Cook Cruises do a sunset cruise that combines all the best bits of Fiji. Featuring local seafood and traditional Fijian entertainment, this is a once in a lifetime dining experience that’s worth trying at least once.
Once you’ve had enough surf and sun, get on to the golf course. You’ll soon learn that happiness is eighteen holes of golf on the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course. Whether you’re Tiger Woods in training or just happy to have a hit, this picturesque course has you covered.
Mamanuca Islands Day Trip
Day tripping is one of the best ways to see all the secret gems of Fiji. One of the most memorable trips you can make is a visit to the Mamanuca Islands. Spend the day sailing until sunset and keep an eye out for the island of Monuriki, where Tom Hanks shot the film Castaway. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a little fun underwater, Mamanuca Islands has some of the best snorkelling in the South Pacific.
Cloud 9 Floating Bar
It’s not often that a bar will attract visitors from around the world. But it’s not often that a bar is floating in the middle of paradise! Cloud 9 is a real spectacle, a floating bar only accessible by boat. Hidden on the Ro Ro Reef in the Mamanuca Islands, Cloud 9 is a must do.
Sigatoka River Safari
One of the best ways to discover Fiji is to go deep inside its beautiful belly! The Sigatoka River Safari twists and winds its way through Sigatoka Valley. Along the way you’ll stop and meet local tribes.
Sigatoka Sand Dunes
For something different, head to the Sigatoka National Park and spend the day on their famous sand dunes. Five kilometres long and averaging around sixty metres high, these dunes are fun for the whole family. It takes about two hours to reach the dunes by foot, but the walk is well worth it.
Scuba Diving on the Great Astrolabe Reef
If you’re serious about seeing what lies beneath the surface in the South Pacific, then scuba diving is the way to go. Of all the dive spots in Fiji, the Great Astrolabe Reef is my favourite. It’s the kind of colourful underwater world you’ve dreamed of with every species of fish imaginable! Mai Dive are the scuba specialists and can help you plan your perfect dive.
Local Village Visits
No matter how beautiful the beaches are, my favourite part of Fiji will always be the culture. Ask around and see if your resort, hotel or tour guide can organise a local village visit. Here you will be exposed to the real Fiji, a friendly culture steeped in tradition. Witness the village chief walk on hot coals, drink a bowl of Kava (a local beverage) and take part in an ancient warrior dance. It’s these experiences that will stick with you, long after the holiday has finished.
Info from Phillipa Steele, International Model and Fiji Airways Ambassador.
Phillipa Steele is based in Fiji but for 6 months of the year, Phillipa is travelling to New York, Paris, Australia and Switzerland.